Intermittent fasting is when you implement a restricted diet where you can only eat for a 4-8 hour period each day. There are different types you can choose from such as:
• The 16/8 method: (The Leangains protocol). This involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 12–8 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
• Eat-Stop-Eat: Fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
• The 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
There are many benefits to this type of diet. For example, an increase in insulin occurs when you eat. Insulin is a vital hormone which allows the body to increase its glucose absorption ability for energy instead of storing excess glucose as fat.
While fasting, due to lower insulin levels, the body can release its glucose stores for energy. So by keeping your fasting routine regular, you could begin to see weight loss as your fat stores are depleted.
Improved heart health
Improving your cardiovascular health is another positive factor of intermittent fasting.
A reduction in blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and triglycerides have been associated with intermittent fasting. Triglycerides (a type of fat) exists in the blood that causes heart disease.
Improved brain health
Studies carried out on mice have shown an improvement in the function and health of the brain which is linked to intermittent fasting. Studies also found that mice with a free diet and eating schedule have worse memory and learning abilities than mice who were fasting.
Observations included that fasting supressed Inflammation on the brain which scientists concluded lessened the risk of neurological conditions. Neurological disorders such as stroke, Parkinsons disease and Alzheimer’s disease have been found to be less common in animals when intermittent fasting.
Whether or not these animal studies apply to humans, we don’t know but Humans are animals after all so it is an interesting element of dieting to keep an eye on.
A reduced risk of cancer
Your risk in developing cancer may also be reduced due to intermittent fasting. Studies in animals have shown that restrictive diets can help delay the onset of tumours. Again, obesity is a large risk factor when developing a series of different cancers. Just by losing weight you reduce your cancer risk overall.
Want to know how to do intermittent fasting properly? Watch the video below.